Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
8th September (NS) — 26th August (OS)
26th August O.S.
ALEXANDER, the details of his life are uncertain, though there is a legend that he was a member of the Theban Legion (22nd September) who escaped (several times), spending the last few years of his life in Bergamo, preaching and evangelising, before he was finally arrested and martyred in 303 at the location where the church of San Alessandro now stands in Colonna.
ELIAS, a Bishop of Syracuse in Sicily, who reposed 660, and of whom no further information seems to be known.
FELIX of PISTOIA, a ninth century hermit in Pistoia in Tuscany. No other details of his life are extant.
IRENAEUS and ABUNDIUS, martyred in Rome, for the crime of giving proper burials to Christians, they were drowned in the public sewers during the persecution of Valerian, circa 258.
NINIAN, St. Ninian was a native Briton. According to St. Bede the Venerable (25th May), St. Ninian received his education and Episcopal consecration, at Rome, and was then sent back to his native land as a missionary. St. Ninian founded the Episcopal See of Withern, or “Candida Casa” (so-called because St. Ninian’s Cathedral was built of white stone, the first to be so in Britain), at present-day Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway. This church, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours (11th November), is the first recorded Christian church to have been built in Scotland. From his cathedral, and the monastery attached to it, St. Ninian and his monks enlightened the northern Britons and the Picts, and St. Ninian became known as the Apostle of Cumberland and of the Southern Picts of Scotland. It is generally believed that St. Ninian reposed circa 432,
Troparion of St. Ninian — Tone I
O Ninian, thou faithful servant of Christ, equal of the apostles,
as a vessel overflowing with the love of Christ thou didst enlighten
the land of the Picts with the Faith; wherefore, we beseech thee most earnestly:
Entreat the life-creating Trinity, that the Scottish land
may regain its ancient piety, that peace be granted to the world,
and salvation to all who honour thy holy memory.
though an eighth century poem, the Miracula Nynie Episcopi, claims he was a contemporary of a local king called Tudwal; a king of that name ruled at Dumbarton circa 550. St. Ninian was buried at his church. In the Middle Ages his tomb became a place of pilgrimage.
PANDWYNA, a native of either Scotland or Ireland, St. Pandwyna was forced to flee to England, where it is believed that a relative was Abbess of Eltisley, Cambridgeshire (about 9 km east of St. Neots). There she received monastic tonsure and spent the rest of her life as a nun. St. Pandwyna reposed circa 904, and was initially buried near St. Pandonia Well in Eltisley. Her relics were later translated to the village church, St. Pandionia & St. John the Baptist.
RUFINUS, a fifth century Bishop of Capua in present-day Italy. His relics are enshrined in Cattedrale dei SS. Stefano e Agata in Capua.
SECUNDUS, (Third Century), a general of the Theban Legion (22nd September) who was martyred at Ventimiglia in Liguria.
VICTOR (VITORES), a hermit in Spain, who commanded by an angel to preach the Gospel to the Moors besieging his native town of Cereza. Though he had some initial success, St. Victor was ultimately martyred by crucifixion at the hands of the Moors 950. However, the Moors did abandon their siege.
ZEPHYRINUS, Pope of Rome from 199 until his repose 217. In addition to helping his flock to endure the persecutions under the Emperor Septimius Severus ( 193 – 211), he also had to shepherd the Church through the adversities brought upon it by new heresies and apostates, including Marcion, and Montanism.
8th September N.S.
CORBINIAN, a native of France, who after living for fourteen years as a hermit, was consecrated a missionary bishop to Bavaria. St. Corbinian based his See at Freising, and is said to have had a long and successful episcopacy. St. Corbinian reposed 730.
DISIBOD (DISIBODE, DISEN),according to tradition, St. Disibode was an Irishman who, with several companions, worked as missionaries in the east of France and Germany. After ten years he went to Odernheim in present-day Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany where he founded the monastery of Disibodenberg. St. Disibod reposed 700.
Prior to the Schism the Patriarchate of Rome was Orthodox, and fully in communion with the Orthodox Church. As Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco +1966 said “The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable Liturgy is far older than any of her heresies”.
ETHELBURGH (ETHELBURGA), St. Ethelburgh was the daughter of King St. Ethelbert of Kent (25th February) and his Frankish wife Queen Bertha. Upon her betrothal to King St. Edwin of Northumbria (12th October) St. Ethelburgh travelled to her new home accompanied by St. Paulinus of York (10th October). There she and St. Paulinus converted her husband and were instrumental, in the conversion of Northumbria, and successfully brought the kingdoms of Kent and Northumbria closer together. Upon the repose of King St. Edwin, St. Ethelburgh and St. Paulinus returned to Kent. There St. Ethelburgh founded a monastery at Lyminge where she served as abbess until her repose circa 647.
INA (INE) and ETHELBURGH, King St. Ina of Wessex reigned in England from 688 until 726, and is primarily remembered as the restorer of Glastonbury. In 726, he abdicated his throne, and with his wife, Queen Ethelburga, went to Rome where they lived lives of penance and piety. He was the first to give the alms to the Pope that came to be known as “Peter’s-Pence”, which, contrary to how it evolved, was originally not intended to be a tribute to the Pope, but was designated for the maintenance of the English College at Rome. King Ina reposed 727.
KINGSMARK (CYNFARCH), (Fifth Century), a Scottish chieftain, our venerable and God-bearing Father Kingsmark is widely believed to have been married to a granddaughter of King St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April). In later life, he lived in Wales as a monk and disciple of St. Dubricius of Caerleon (14th November). As a monk, St. Kingsmark grew to be renowned for his holiness of life, and soon after his repose was glorified by the Welsh faithful. The area of St. Kingsmark in Monmouthshire, Wales takes its name from him, and there are several churches dedicated to St. Kingsmark in the English West Country and Wales.
Troparion of St. Kingsmark — Tone VII
Seeing that many were brought to Christ
by the radiant example of thy virtuous life
And thy missionary labours,
O holy Kingsmark, Pray that we too may follow thee
In the service of our Saviour, that our souls may be saved.
SERGIUS, born in Palermo Sicily to a family originally from Antioch, he was Pope of Rome from 687 until his repose 701. St. Sergius enjoyed close relations with the Church in England; baptising St. Cadwalla (20th April), resolving the dispute over St. Wilfrid’s (12th October) position as the Ordinary of the See of York, and encouraging St. Willibrord’s (7th November) evangelisation of the Frisians. St. Sergius is also credited with introducing the Agnus Dei to the Canon of the Latin Mass.